There is an encouraging trend on the part of the federal government to take down online websites that are fronts for illegal child sex trafficking and prostitution. Old news but good news, and may there be more news like it … CBS News reported on June 19 of this year that:
Prosecutors in Texas … have taken down one of the largest websites to replace backpage.com, the defunct classified website that allowed advertisements for prostitution and child sex trafficking.
… Wilhan Martono, 46, the owner and operator of several illicit websites that advertised prostitution around the world, was arrested on sex trafficking, money laundering and other related charges. His sites — CityXGuide.com and its affiliated websites, including 1Backpage.com — advertised prostitution, child sex trafficking and other illicit services. The online platforms he created contained hundreds of thousands of posts for “intimate activities” that users could filter by their location and interests.
During the investigation, law enforcement officers discovered correspondence between Martono and an advertiser who said the website was “taking over from where Backpage left off.” In fact, court documents say that Martono registered the domain name for 1Backpage.com, CityXGuide.com and a half a dozen others the day after the FBI seized Backpage.com in April 2018.
“As soon as DOJ shut down one despicable site, another popped up to take its place,” said U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox in a statement. “Like the owners of Backpage, this defendant made millions facilitating the online exploitation of women and children. The Justice Department will not rest until these sites are eliminated and their owners held accountable for their crimes.”
These actions have pressured and splintered the illegal market for purchased sex but there are still multiple questionable sites in operation. Abolition Wisconsin wishes success to the DOJ at federal and state levels in their continued campaign to remove online access to this destructive, exploitative business.